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Undressing the Ad

Reading Culture in Advertising


Katherine T. Frith

Undressing the Ad aims to empower readers to become media literate through the work of deconstructing the consumer culture that surrounds them. By introducing critical scholarship on advertising in a way that is accessible, the book attempts to show how issues of race, class, and gender are expressed in contemporary advertising. The readings in this book take a decidedly critical political perspective and explore how representation in advertising upholds certain economic and political structures and subverts others, and exposes the myth that advertisements are merely messages aimed at selling goods and services. Rather they are texts that shape contemporary culture and shape our images of ourselves.
Contents: Katherine T. Frith: Undressing the Ad: Reading Culture in Advertising – Elizabeth Pauline Lester: Finding the Path to Signification: Undressing a Nissan Pathfinder Direct Mail Package – Matthew P. McAllister: Sponsorship, Globalization, and the Summer Olympics – Morris B. Holbrook/Barbara B. Stern: The Paco Man and What is Remembered: New Readings of a Hybrid Language – Ernest M. Mayes: As Soft as Straight Gets: African American Women and Mainstream Beauty Standards in Haircare Advertising – Linda K. Fuller: We Can’t Duck the Issue: Imbedded Advertising in the Motion Pictures – Chemi Montes-Armenteros: Ideology in Public Service Advertisements – Michael J. Ludwig: The Cultural Politics of Prevention: Reading Anti-Drug PSAs – Daniel R. Nicholson: The Diesel Jeans and Workwear Advertising Campaign and the Commodification of Resistance – Christian Vermehren: Cultural Capital: The Cultural Economy of U.S. Advertising – Angharad N. Valdivia: The Secret of My Desire: Gender, Class, and Sexuality in Lingerie Catalogs.